9 active online networking opportunities for businesses on Twitter right across Northern Ireland
Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing and our clients including Lough Neagh Partnership and Lough Neagh Eels – Inaugural Eel Eat Week and Erin Grove Preserves have all achieved sales results directly from online networking via our Twitter hour tweets, so we thought it would be useful to provide our digital marketing clients with a list of local networking hours where they too can communicate to target customers and those who may lead them to their target customer segments.
We had listed 16 active twitter hour platforms (18 timed opportunities) where you can share business stories, promote services and connect with other businesses and business people in your area/sector. A quick audit on 5 September 2017 reduced this list to 10 active weekly twitter hours and 2 active monthly twitter hours in Northern Ireland. A review again on 24 January 2018 seen more change.
Top tip: Don’t just push out your own communications, remember to follow the hashtag and engage with the stories and successes of your fellow online networkers too – you never know it might inspire you to try innovations or move forward with collaborations, for example one of our Twitter hours led to an attempt to cook Lough Neagh Eel in Infused Tea as well as a Tweet-Meet-Eat face to face networking evening where local business people met at Deanes Love Fish to put faces and voices to twitter handlers and, of course, eat Lough Neagh eel! (You can read all about it on the Tweet Meet and Eel-Eat blog by the Bow Tie Blogger)
Top tip: You can on some Twitter Hours sponsor a prize – simply message the account of your choice via twitter with your prize details and value, preferred date, your proposed hashtag and your contact details. Twitter hours with competitions at present include #FoodNIHour, #CastlereaghHour and #BelfastHour. You may also wish to produce a promotional social media graphic for such a competition using free graphics tools such as Canva
Our 2 favourite twitter hours at the moment for our professional services business in terms of benefit and reach (e.g. achieving top twitter trending results in Northern Ireland) and because we were contracted by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council to deliver the first WorldHost Food Ambassador programme in the Mid and East Antrim council area are:
- FoodNIHour @FoodNIHour – use the hashtag #FoodNIHour every Monday from 9pm to 10pm
- Belfast Hour @BelfasthourNI – use the hashtag #Belfasthour every Thursday on Twitter from 9pm to 10pm
Weekly Planner – 9 active online networking opportunities for businesses across Northern Ireland on Twitter
FoodNIHour @FoodNIHour – use the hashtag #FoodNIHour every Monday from 9pm to 10pm
NBelfastHour @NorthBelfastHour – use the hashtag #NorthBelfastHour every Tuesday from 8pm to 9pm
Castlereaghhour @CastlereaghHour – use the hashtag #CastlereaghHour – on the last Tuesday of each month from 9pm to 10pm
nistartupshour @nistartupshour – use the hashtag #nistartupshour every Tuesday from 9pm to 10pm (Founder Shane has now established a facebook networking group initially called Referral Tuesdays and recently renamed: Bizmerang. 1,400 members as of 24 January 2018.
NIBusinessHour @NIBusinessHour – use the hashtag #NIBusinessHour on Wednesday afternoons from 3pm to 4pm
Enjoy NI Hour @EnjoyNIHour – use the hashtag #ENJOYNI17 on Wednesdays from 7pm to 8pm
Derry Hour @LegenDerryHour – use the hashtag #LegenDerryHour on Wednesdays from 9pm to 10pm
CausewayHour @CausewayHour – use the hashtag #CausewayHour on Wednesdays 9pm to 10pm
NewryBizChat @NewryBizChat – use the hashtag #NewryBizChat on Thursdays from 8pm to 9pm
Belfast Hour @BelfasthourNI – use the hashtag #Belfasthour every Thursday on Twitter from 9pm to 10pm
Enjoy NI Hour @EnjoyNIHour – use the hashtag #ENJOYNI17 on Fridays 12noon to 1pm
You can see from above that some twitter hours overlap with each other. Some twitter networking hours are also much busier than others, however it may only take one connection to deliver effective marketing results!
Please also be advised that many may take a break during key holiday times.
Please also respect your time, every marketing activity has an opportunity cost and there is such a thing as work life balance to consider – especially given a lot of these twitter hours operate in the evening.
To delve in deeper and find out more about the digital marketing landscape uncovering the many opportunities it offers your business we provide bespoke one to one Digital Marketing training and mentoring services to small and large businesses.
Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing is also a licensed provider of the accredited Digital Business Skills training programme.
This information was initially researched on 8th April 2016, FoodNIHour was added on 7 June 2016. Twitter hour activity was checked, format was changed into chronological order and #Castlereaghhour added on 12 January 2017. #NewryBizChat was added on 24 January 2017. #NBelfastHour, #BeautyHourNI and #CausewayHour were added on 6 Feburary 2017. Added #GoForItHour and #CarrickHour on 7 Feburary 2017. #BanbridgeHour added on 9 Feburary 2017. #Castlereaghhour was spotted as MIA – missing in action on 21 March 2017, re-added 22 March 2017 (sorry Inspire, we blame pesky gremlins when we took it out as a newbie to watch but missed it in the running order – we hold our guilty hands up), Referral Tuesday was added at the same time and #EnjoyNI16 amended to new hashtag: #EnjoyNI17. 29 August 2017 – #CastlereaghHour have moved to monthly, #NBelfastHour hashtag amended to #NorthBelfastHour and #CarrickHour tweeted to see if they are still active, given no posts since February 2017. On 5 September 2017 #BeautyHourNI frequency was updated to monthly and #BanbridgeHour, @ReferralTuesday, #CarrickHour, #GoForItHour and #LisburnHour were deemed inactive. On 24 January 2018 #NIBusinessHour was added and #AntrimHour, #BeautyHourNI and #ArdsNthDownHour deemed inactive.
The blog will of course be updated further as we are made aware of new channels arising. If we have missed one or need to amend any of our information – do tweet us and let us know @watsonsmarketer.
Twitter hours deemed inactive:
Antrim Hour use the hashtag #Antrimhour every Monday from 8pm to 9pm (no moderator following Social Bee NI’s departure from this role)
BeautyHourNI @Beyoutiful – use the hashtag #BeautyHourNI on the last Wednesday of each month from 9pm to 10pm. (no longer found on twitter)
Ards and North Down Hour @ArdsNthDownHour – use the hashtag #ArdsNthDownHour on Thursdays from 8pm to 9pm (no visible activity from November 2017)
BanbridgeHour use the hashtag #BanbridgeHour every Monday 8pm to 9pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since 26 May 2017)
@ReferralTuesday – not quite a Twitter “hour” but offers referral opportunities via Twitter every Tuesday – use Twitter handle @ReferralTuesday (doesn’t appear to have been active since 9 May 2017)
CarrickHourNI @CarrickHourNI – use the hashtag #CarrickHour every Tuesday from 8pm to 9pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since 21 February 2017)
GoForItHour @goforitnews – use the hashtag #GoForItHour every Tuesday from 9pm-10pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since 23 May 2017)
Lisburn Hour @LisburnhourNI – use the hashtag #Lisburnhour every Wednesday on Twitter from 9pm to 10pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since 2 June 2017)
Tyrone Hour – hashtag #Tyronehour every Monday from 9pm to 10pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since October 2015)
Magherafelt Hour @magherafelthour hashtag #MagherafeltHour every Tuesday from 9pm to 10pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since November 2016)
Fermanagh Hour @Fermanagh_hour – hashtag #Fermanaghhour every Tuesday from 9pm to 10pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since 16 December 2016)
Armagh Hour @Armaghhour_ use the hashtag #Armaghhour every Tuesday from 9pm to 10pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since March 2015)
Newry Hour use the hashtag #newryhour every Tuesday from 9pm to 10pm (doesn’t appear to have been active)
Mid Ulster Hour @MidUlsterHr – use the hashtag #MidUlsterHour every Tuesday from 9pm to 10pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since October 2015)
Ballymena Hour @BallymenaHourNI – use the hashtag #Ballymenahour every Wednesday from 8pm to 9pm (doesn’t appear to have been active since November 2016)